December 9 2013 Latest news:
By Emma Hardwick, Reporter
Wednesday, October 16, 2013
Milkmen are not renowned for their crime fighting capabilities. But for one early riser, it was all part of the round.
Grandfather Brian Hockley, 65, spent more than 30 years delivering dairy goods to people’s homes – and has now chalked up 50 years in the delivery business.
It even led him to Buckingham Palace, where he received an MBE from the Queen for 25 years of service to the community.
The Takeley Park resident said of his crime caper days: “One time I witnessed a robbery taking place and ended up being taken down to London to look at these men on an identity parade. It was quite something.
“Another time I spotted two people steal a couple of milk bottles from my cart. I noticed they were driving down a dead end so I followed them and made them pay up.”
It was not all bad, though. Brian was lucky enough to meet Mary, his wife of 44 years, while out on deliveries. “I started being a milkman while I was still at school and it just went from there,” he told the Broadcast. “I loved meeting all the people – that really is the best part of the job.”
The proudest moment of Brian’s career came in 1998 when he was awarded an MBE. Mary remembers the moment he found out like it was yesterday.
“I heard this cheer from downstairs and it frightened the life out of me,” she said.
Father-of-two Brian added: “That day on the milk round was brilliant. People knew I was getting it and it was a job to get round because everybody was stopping to congratulate me!”
After 35 years as a milkman, which included him starting his own milk delivery business, Brian retired due to health problems.
He is still in the same line of work – a delivery driver at Whiltshire Farm Foods – and always carries with him fond memories of the “good ol’ days”.